Paris is a city that excites. When we think of it we all have preconceived ideas that for some will take the form of delicious food and wine, for others of strolling along the Seine at sunset and for others of an immersive experience in the art and architecture of bygone eras. Whatever your version of Paris, a 4-day travel itinerary is plenty of time to experience all that Paris has to offer and much more!
The itinerary I share with you is designed to start the morning after your arrival in Paris and covers from here 4 full days until your departure, the reason is simple: generally the arrival day to any destination is usually chaotic and very tiring; it also varies a lot from one traveller to another. If you need shorter or longer travel itineraries see the following guides.
- Itinerary for a 2 day trip to Paris
- Itinerary for a 3 day trip to Paris
- Itinerary for a 5 day trip to Paris
Day I: Explore the 7th and 8th arrondissement of Paris
On the first day of your travel itinerary I recommend that you focus your efforts on seeing the most charming spots in the 7th and 8th arrondissements, a large part of which can be done on foot, one of the best ways to get to know Paris.
Coffee and morning stroll on the Champs Elysées
Start your first day in Paris with a morning stroll along the city's most beautiful shopping avenue. Les Champs Elysées, which starts at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe square in Paris and ends at Place de la Concorde.
- At the Arc de Triomphe: Although photos at this monument are a must on any trip to Paris, don't forget to admire the giant statues that make up the walls and structure of the arch.
- The Champs Elysées: On your walk down the avenue you will find some of the best cafes, restaurants, fashion houses and major shops in Paris. If you like shopping, take advantage of this moment!
- Place de la Concorde: This is the largest square in Paris and the place where French nobles, including King Louis XVI, were executed during the Revolution. Take a moment to observe the Obelisk and the two wonderful fountains located at its ends.
Book lunch at the Eiffel Tower
Visit the Eiffel Tower at lunchtime to enjoy an authentic Parisian meal while you observe the beauty of the city in all its splendour. One of the biggest advantages of making reservations for any of the Tower 's restaurants is that you won't have to queue to get in. Alternatively, you can have lunch in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower and then make your way up the important monument.
From your location at Le Place de la Concorde it is easy to get to the Eiffel Tower, you just need to take the Pont de la Concorde, cross the Seine and go right up the walkways that border the Seine area. It's a 30-minute walk, but you'll be able to enjoy the attractive scenery.
- Opening hours: From 9.30am to 11.45pm.
- Entry fee: From €10.7 the price increases if you want to go to the top and use the lifts.
- Duration of visit: Allow approximately 1.5 hours to visit the first floor and 2.5 hours if you want to climb to the top.
Visit the Rue Cler market
Just a 10 minute walk from the gardens bordering the Eiffel Tower you will come across the market place; an authentic market street in the style of the Eiffel Tower. A real Parisian-style market street where locals gather to buy their favourite foods and sit down with friends for a coffee and enjoy the company.
Highly recommended for spending a few hours of a quiet first day in Paris and especially if you want to visit a somewhat unique destination that is not crowded with tourists.
- Opening hours: From 9am to 7pm from Tuesday to Sunday with a break on Mondays.
- Entry fee: It is a free street market and open to the public.
- Length of visit: Depends on what you want to do and whether you stop for lunch or a coffee. Allow 30 minutes to see the stalls.
Visit the Jardin and Place de Trocadero
After a coffee at the Rue Cler market, head to the Trocadéro Square and Gardens to watch the sun go down over the Eiffel Tower, now is the time to get your camera out!
Jardins du Trocadéro The most characteristic feature of the Garden is its giant mirror of water with numerous fountains surrounding it, which provide an amazing spectacle. At certain times of the day, such as sunset or sunrise, the effect of the mirror-like fountain is truly beautiful.
Place du Trocadéro Located right in front of the gardens is the best place in Paris to take picturesof the Eiffel Tower. You don't have to be an expert cameraman, the view is so perfect that you just need to clean your camera lens and focus properly.
- Opening hours: Open 24 hours
- Admission fee: Free
- Duration of the visit: 20 to 30 minutes will be enough to walk around the garden and take pictures in the Place.
Tango night on the Seine
From 7 p.m. in the summer in Paris, groups of enthusiastic tango lovers gather in the amphitheatre on the banks of the Seine and dance until nightfall. If your 4-day trip to Paris coincides with this time of year on a Friday, consider heading there for a night of tango and spontaneous dancing. These professional dancers show off their talent to anyone who will watch, while promoting their classes.
Day 2: Explore the 1st, 4th and 5th arrondissement of Paris
Half day tour of the Latin Quarter.
The Latin Quarter of Paris is an area known for its student life, lively atmosphere and delicious food bistros. On your second day in Paris join guided tours to discover the attractions and curiosities of this corner of Paris.
Among the points of interest included in most tours are:
- Visit to the Pantheon in Paris, where the remains of Victor Hugo and Voltaire are buried.
- A visit to the Luxembourg Gardens.
- Visit to the Sorbonne University.
- Visit to Shakespeare & Co.
Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle
In a short 5-minute walk from the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) to the Île de la Cité (4th arrondissement) to visit Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle. Both jewels of French Gothic architecture, admired the world over.
Notre-Dame de Paris. This architectural jewel of the Middle Ages has been closed to the public since the devastating fire of 2019 which destroyed the roof and the central spire. However, access to the front square is allowed.
Sainte-Chapelle. Considered one of the greatest works of Gothic architecture due to its rich interior decoration and its dreamlike stained glass windows.
- Opening hours: From 9 am to 5 pm
- Ticket price: The ticket price is from 11,50€
- Duration of the visit: The tour inside Sainte-Chapelle to appreciate the interiors will take about 30 minutes.
Guided tour of the Louvre
Leave the Île de la Cité behind by taking the Pont au Change to cross the Seine, on the left take the Boulevard Georges Pompidou on your way to the Louvre. This will take you about 13 minutes on foot as you look out over the banks of the Seine.
The Louvre is a museum of gigantic size and the pieces of art that compose it are almost infinite. For a well spent visit to the Louvre I recommend:
- Buy Louvre tickets in advance
- Book a guided tour of the Louvre that takes you through the main points of interest.
- Opening hours: From 9am to 6pm.
- Entry fee: The entrance fee is around €15 for adults.
- Duration of the visit: To see the main works you will need to set aside at least two hours for the tour.
Have an aperitif in a Parisian wine bar
In French, an aperitif is an aperitif taken before dinner and is a traditional French ritual. In Paris you will find many bars offering this type of gastronomic experience, combined with a relaxed atmosphere that will help you end your second night on a high note.
Day 3: Excursions outside Paris and explore the 14th arrondissement
Half day tour of Versailles
Versailles is a French community located just outside Paris, known worldwide as the site of the Palace and gardens of Versailles. Built in 1623, this jewel of French architecture is one of the greatest expressions of French baroque art. In addition to the impressive amount of detail that you can find inside its extravagant halls, it is surprisingly well preserved despite its age.
Versailles has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public every day. From Paris you can book an excursion to Versailles to visit the interior of the palace and the gardens outside.
- Opening hours: Open to the public from 9am to 5.30pm.
- Admission fee: For adults, the entrance ticket to the Palace of Versailles costs around 27€.
- Duration of the visit: From Paris the trip will take at least 6 hours including return to the city and tour of the Palace.
Tour the Musée d'Orsay
On your return from Versailles, I recommend you set aside about 2.5 hours of your afternoon to visit the Musée d'Orsay. Considered one of the most important museums in Paris and the world, it is a must for anyone who enjoys art and history.
Here you can find one of the greatest collections of the masters of modern and impressionist artof recent times. Among the public's favourites are the original frescoes by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and Rodin.
Two tips to help you get the most out of your visit to the Musée d'Orsay: consider hiring a private tour to take you quickly to the works of greatest interest and buy your tickets to the museum in advance to avoid the long lines at the entrance.
- Opening hours: From 9.30am to 6pm
- Admission: Approximately €16 for an adult ticket
- Duration of visit: You should book a minimum of 2 hours to visit the museum.
Day 4: Explore the 3rd and 18th arrondissement of Paris
On your last day in Paris, wake up early to see three important historical monuments located close to each other in the 3rd arrondissement and then several alternative museums in Paris.
Place de la Bastille
During the French Revolution, the Bastille, then a symbol of the frivolity and despotic power of the King of France, was seized by an armed mob of Parisians in the early days of the revolt, setting the stage for the political movement that would culminate in the abolition of the monarchy and the execution of the kings.
Place des Vosges
As one of the oldest squares in Paris, it is also one of the most beautiful. Take a moment to stroll under its arches, walk along the garden paths and admire the beautiful red brick facades of its shops. You are allowed to stop for a coffee!
Victor Hugo Maison. The house of the famous French writer, poet and politician became a museum some time after his death. It is located near the Place des Vosges.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
- Admission fee: The museum's permanent collection is free to the public. There is a charge for access to the temporary collections.
- Duration of the visit: One hour or less will be enough to visit the different areas of the house.
Tour of the Picasso Museum
In the you will find a large collection of sculptures by the artist, as well as thousands of documents and photographs that belonged to this important figure in the history of art. The museum itself is a research centre on the life and work of Picasso, so if you feel admiration or curiosity for his work, you can't miss it.
From the Place des Vosges to the Picasso Museum in Paris is a short 8 minute walk through the streets of the Marais district.
- Opening hours: From Tuesday to Sunday the opening hours are from 10am to 6pm.
- Admission fee: From €40 for an adult ticket.
- Duration of visit: Approximately one hour for the interior tour.
Paris is a city full of beautiful chapels and basilicas; It is another of the jewels of Parisian architecture that I recommend you include in your 4-day trip to Paris. It is located imposingly on the hill of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement.
Starting from the Picasso Museum you can reach Sacre Coeur by metro, take line 8 at Saint-Sébastien - Froissart station and then change to line 4 to get off at Barbès - Rochechouart station; finally you will have to walk up the hill in 15 minutes. For this reason, my favourite option is to invest a few euros and take a 25 or 30 minute taxi ride through the important Parisian neighbourhoods to the north of the city.
- Opening hours: The basilica is available for visits from 6am. Access to the dome is from 9am to 8.30pm, with variations in certain months.
- Entry fee: Free admission.
- Duration of visit: Allow 45 minutes to visit both the dome and the crypt of Sacré Coeur.
Dali Museum Paris
Down the hills of Sacre-Coeur, just 5 minutes from the basilica, you will find the or Espace Dalí. Here you will find a permanent exhibition of the master of surrealism, with a collection of 300 works available. Touring the entire museum usually takes no more than 1 hour.
- Opening hours: From 10am to 6pm.
- Admission fee: The entrance ticket costs from €13 for adults.
- Duration of the visit: It is a small museum, so you will be able to do the whole tour in about an hour or less.
Tour of Montmartre Square
Just minutes away from the Dalí Museum you will find one of Montmartre's favourite entertainment options. This square, located at the top of the hill, is famous throughout Paris for the painters who have always exhibited their best work here. In former times important historical figures such as Monet or Picasso were part of the vibrant locality of Montmartre as their careers took off and their work gained fame and recognition.
- Opening hours: From 10am to 8pm.
- Entry fee: Free, the square is open to the public.
- Length of visit: You can spend as long as you like, you will find plenty of activities to do and cafes to eat something